Army for sale!
October 9, 2002 10:47 PM   Subscribe

Army for sale! Russia will back the US in it's Iraq campaign only in exchange for money. Didn't they used to be a superpower? Now they are the A-Team?
posted by wolfgangnorton (17 comments total)
The most apparent comment is, "Putin certainly looks like Col. John "Hannibal" Smith."
posted by the fire you left me at 10:53 PM on October 9, 2002

DUH da da DA, duh Da duhh, du DA DUh, da DEY da, duh da da d'a DAH. What you talkin' 'bout, Fooh!

We (and by that I mean our glorious oil company leadership, which is to say, that that is totally sweet) stands to profit by an agressor move into Iraq. Why shouldn't Russia want to get its share too?
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:01 PM on October 9, 2002

(via drudge) their various economic co-prosperity-type dealies with iraq are apparently souring, so go fig.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:17 PM on October 9, 2002

Wolfgang, I agree that the A-Team had mercenary tendencies, but you must admit their battles were more philosophical than anything.

At least, that's how I saw it at 14. Man, those were Friday nights to remember--the A-Team, then Riptide, then Miami Vice. Those were the days!
posted by TheManWhoKnowsMostThings at 11:17 PM on October 9, 2002

DUH da da DA, duh Da duhh, du DA DUh, da DEY da, duh da da d'a DAH.

Pardon me while I wipe my monitor clean again. I was hearing that tune in my head the moment I saw the link; thanks for expressing my nostalgia so... eloquently.
posted by Galvatron at 11:36 PM on October 9, 2002

At the heart of Russia's fears are the effects that a war in Iraq might have on the price of oil. Moscow, which relies on oil for half its external income, fears that if Saddam is deposed, America may attempt to flood the market with cheap Iraqi oil to bolster its own economy.

Economists say that for Russia, still battling with the huge costs of economic restructuring, a steep fall in the oil price could provoke financial disaster.
-from the article.

Ummmm, did you read this before you posted the article? Nowhere in the article does it state that Russia is asking for money or selling their army in any way. Their interests are currently economic, that is, unlike the Bush admin, the Russians are worried about the war's affect on the economy. I'm really worried these days - the German public gets to vote on the war issue while US voters do not; the Russian government is more interested in economic concerns than the "MBA President" is.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:46 PM on October 9, 2002

A little news Googling serves to clarify the situation a bit. According to the Guardian, Russia owns undeveloped oil fields in Iraq, and would also like to collect on a ~$8bn Iraqi debt. Given such substantial investments, it makes perfect sense for Russia to be "pragmatic" about backing a war effort.

Seems like the linked article has rather a lot of spin on it. Of course, anything that results in an A-Team reference can't be all bad.
posted by Galvatron at 12:19 AM on October 10, 2002

Forget this whole Iraq debacle. Let's play with the T'inator. Don't forget to check out such gems as CNN and YellowTimes. I love it when a plan comes together.
posted by fatbobsmith at 12:42 AM on October 10, 2002

I did read the article, and I enjoyed the spin so much that I posted it with a subject line that reflected the first paragraph of the article.

The reason I posted it was because it shows that money is (part of) the impetus for what could be scary scary worldwide devestation. And even if Russia feels justified because a war could cost them money, none of the goverments seem to see the human cost.
posted by wolfgangnorton at 1:06 AM on October 10, 2002

i sometimes find myself whistling the a-team theme tune in the company of others, before i realise what i'm doing - of course its only embaressing if the other people are of the same generation.
posted by carfilhiot at 2:20 AM on October 10, 2002

Russia's oil moguls look a bit like extras from the A team. Here's Mikhail Khodorkovsky - 'Russian Bad Boy' and CEO of Yukos Oil on the likely consequences of American control of Iraq.

‘When America controls Iraq, Mr Bush will have serious levers in his hands. The temptation to use those levers to push the oil price down is going to be very great indeed: American politics are not known for being geared to the long-term. But if the oil price were to fall to, say, $12 a barrel for two years, all independent oil producers would simply be wiped out. This means Norway, Britain, Canada — and, to a large extent, Russia.
posted by grahamwell at 3:40 AM on October 10, 2002

Uh, is anybody implying that the US (meaning our lords and masters, of course) doesn't think about money? Didn't we get our allies to pay most of the costs of daddy's war?
posted by languagehat at 7:42 AM on October 10, 2002

right languagehat. The Gulf war was paid for by the arabs, in billions of dollars. The cold war against the soviet union was paid in part by the cultivation of poppy fields in Afghanistan. The upcoming extravaganza in Iraq will be paid for by:

1) selling defence products to neighboring countries for example the sale of patriot missile batteries to Saudi Arabia.

2) destroying of key infrastructure to be rebuilt by US companies and paid for by the people of Iraq, the neighboring Arab countries and some European countries in the name of "nation building".

3) setting fire to some oil sources while capturing the rest, because "saddam set fire to oil wells". Ofcourse US technology will be used to get control over the fire.
posted by adnanbwp at 8:06 AM on October 10, 2002

wolfgang, way to write a misleading post (and admitting that you were propagandizing is hardly a way to boost your credibility). There is nothing to indicate that Russia will lend military support to the US in an Iraq campaign. The article is solely about whether or not Russia will vote with the US in the UN Security Council.

Russia has made efforts to place itself in an excellent bargaining position. Back in August, they signed an economic deal predicated on the eventual lifting of sanctions. Though it was misunderstood here on Metafilter as a deal for Russia to get Iraq's oil, that's silly -- Russia has plenty of oil. What they need is hard Western currency, as ever. The deal was all about Iraq giving Russia a cut of oil sales profits in a post-sanctions era, in exchange for other considerations such as technical ... and perhaps political ... support. This just emphasized for me that Russia intended to be in a win-win position such that they would make out well whether a war proceeded or not. Putin's pretty damn smart. But that implied that Russia would be able to block us or support us as it pleased, meaning it was agnostic on the question except as regarded benefits accruing to itself.

And now the penny has dropped.
posted by dhartung at 9:40 AM on October 10, 2002

Why don't we just pay the russians to do our dirty work for us? It's not like we haven't before. That way, no american boys have to die, just those dirty foreigners.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:44 AM on October 10, 2002

Well, now that Russia has named its price, I'm sure the good people of Georgia, who in good faith accepted US assistance in their own War On Some Terrorists, will appreciate that they're soon to be sold out to their big northern neighbour. It's Great Power politics, circa 1914. Or, alternatively, with tongue in cheek, we can recoin a bleat from the right (especially those pretending to be on the left) and suggest that Bush has played Chamberlain, with north Georgia as the Sudetenland.
posted by riviera at 10:53 AM on October 10, 2002

The Russian empire fell. So to ye not in earthly things, metafilterlings.
If someone must control the oil, I favor America over China or Russian. I am very parocial that way.
posted by Postroad at 2:30 PM on October 10, 2002

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